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Senior Care Choices: CDPAP vs. Nursing Home Care

Senior Care Choices: CDPAP vs. Nursing Home Care

What’s the Difference Between Nursing Home Care and CDPAP?

Are you looking for the next step to a better care plan for yourself or a loved one? The two most common choices people turn to are CDPAP and nursing home care.

CDPAP stands for Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program. It’s a Medicaid-approved program that allows you to choose your personal caregiver to assist you in the comfort of your own home.

Nursing home care is for individuals who require a higher level of skilled care by qualified healthcare professionals.

In this article, we’ll address both options so you can make a better-informed decision and find the right choice for you.

Let’s Talk About CDPAP

If you decide to go with CDPAP, once your chosen candidate is approved by Medicaid, they can immediately start working as your caregiver, getting all the benefits and payments directly from Medicaid.

Benefits of CDPAP

CDPAP is a perfect choice for individuals who need personal care daily, but are medically stable enough to remain at home.

Seniors choose CDPAP for the following five reasons.

  1. They can choose someone they already know and trust to be their caregiver.
  2. They receive care and have greater independence within their own home.
  3. They are medically stable enough to receive home care.
  4. They have greater flexibility and control over their care structure and schedule.
  5. Their care is completely covered by Medicaid.

Instead of a CDPAP agency introducing an individual to an unfamiliar personal care assistant, CDPAP makes it possible for you to receive the assistance you need from someone you already know and trust – while your caregiver gets the full payment and benefits for looking after you. Win-win!

Eligibility & Insurance

In order to qualify for a CDPAP program, you need to be insured by Medicaid. You also need to fit the Medicaid criteria for eligibility for the CDPAP program.

Don’t have Medicaid or not sure you fit the criteria? Not to worry! Agencies like Americare can help you find out if you’re eligible, as well as assist with Medicaid enrollment.

It’s important to find a CDPAP agency that can help guide you through the process of eligibility and enrollment to help you navigate your healthcare options.


CDPAP is a Medicaid-funded program that provides seniors with the financial relief of receiving care at little to no cost. This is in contrast to nursing home care which often has a fixed cost for an all-inclusive service of board, care, and meals.

Nursing Home Care

Seniors needing nursing home care require frequent skilled care for assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living) and help due to physical or cognitive limitations.

Benefits of Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes provide 24/7 care including therapies, medication management and administration, wound care, and other daily needs such as bathing, dressing, continence, and meal preparation.

In addition to having access to specialized services, seniors also benefit from a social setting, including events and activities that make them feel part of a community.

Nursing home care also provides support to caregivers, giving them the necessary respite, and rest while knowing their loved ones are receiving the full care they need from capable, medically trained professionals.

Seniors may choose nursing home care for the following five reasons.

  1. They require skilled care by qualified professionals.
  2. They get 24/7 supervision and oversight.
  3. They have access to a full range of services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
  4. They have the opportunity to interact and feel part of a community within the nursing home.
  5. Their family is supported by a nursing team that is invested in their loved one’s care.

Cons of Nursing Home Care

Eligibility & Insurance

Qualifying for nursing home care can be challenging — individuals must meet specific criteria, particularly regarding income and assets, which can cause a significant financial burden for individuals and their families.

It’s important to find out what your medical insurance will cover to decide if a nursing home is a financially viable option for you.


Nursing homes are typically an expensive flat fee per month. Individuals who require a lower level of care and don’t require the comprehensive set of services available at a nursing home may decide to use their financial resources to receive extra care at home.

Personalized Care

Services and care provided in a nursing home are typically given according to the facility’s schedule and policies. Individuals who prefer to maintain a higher level of independence and receive a more tailored approach may choose home care.

Is CDPAP or Nursing Home Care the Right Choice For You?

If you’re deciding between CDPAP and nursing home care, there are a few key points to take into consideration.

Comfort and Familiarity

Younger Woman Helping Older Woman in Nursing Home

Receiving care through the CDPAP program means your caregiver is someone familiar to you. Needing extra assistance can knock your confidence, so having a loved one step in as a carer can help you feel more independent and at ease. It also ensures your care experience is personal and tailored to your preferences and unique needs.

While nursing home care doesn’t provide you with the same level of personal assistance, you get the benefit of having access to trained professionals with deep knowledge and experience of your particular medical needs. In a skilled nursing home facility, you can utilize the services of an entire team that works hard to provide the best care and assistance.

Those who wish to receive comprehensive nursing services while remaining in their own home may benefit from our Comprehensive Guide to the NHTD Program.


Seniors interested in the CDPAP program must meet Medicaid’s criteria for needing home care services and be capable of directing their own care, or have a designated representative do so.

Seniors looking for nursing home care must meet their state’s criteria for a nursing home level of care.

Long-term Planning

It’s important to consider long-term care planning when deciding between CDPAP and nursing home care. Factors such as current health, anticipated care needs, and finances should be taken into account when making a decision.


The basic financial idea is that the CDPAP program is covered by Medicaid, while nursing home care requires a fixed fee. It’s important to consider all relevant factors.

Americare Can Help

When choosing between CDPAP and nursing home care, it ultimately depends on the individual’s preferences, comfort, and medical and financial state. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each and find the best option for you.

Every single day, Americare helps seniors navigate the red-tape roads of healthcare. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, or you’re a child looking for assistance for elderly parents, reach out to Americare today to speak to a healthcare professional and discuss your challenges.

Get Started With Americare

Written And Edited By: Americare Last Updated: February 6, 2024